My Desktop calendar says 18 July. Today is that day. Maurice Kirya will be doing his long awaited thingy later on in the evening. As well, great men(and criminals alike) around the world will be mentioned at different places and celebrating their birthdays will be protocol. Even those long gone will be remembered.
So let’s start the mentioning, the celebrating and the remembering.
First up is our dear and venerable Nelson Mandela. We all know he suffered apartheid’s full fury, lived through it to tell the tale and came out on the other side the hero who voiced equality of the races. He went on and became the first black president of South Africa in 1994. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Now he is old, ailing and frail, but still relentlessly fighting on as always. We love this man, and a very happy birthday to him.
Second is Vin Diesel, the actor best known for his high-energy action movies, and for beating up Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to a pulp in Fast 5(Thank goodness that wrench hit the ground, or this wudda been an orbituary!). We love his movies, his attitude… happy birthday to you too, you big bully.
Third on our list is Richard Branson, the chap who vacations in space. Born in 1950, in Surrey, England, Richard Branson struggled in school and dropped out at 16 – a decision that ultimately led to the creation of Virgin Records. His entrepreneurial projects started in the music industry and expanded into other sectors making Branson a billionaire. His Virgin Group holds more than 200 companies, including the recent Virgin Galactic, the space-tourism company.
Fourth is space hopper John Glenn, who was born in 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio. A military pilot, he was selected in 1959 for the Project Mercury astronaut training. Glenn was selected for the first orbital flight, and in 1962, aboard Friendship 7, he made three orbits around Earth… but that’s about all we Ugandans need to be knowing about being in space and floating around in orbit.
Number five is intrepid physicist Robert Hooke who discovered the law of elasticity, now known as Hooke’s law. This chap is the reason I had to draw a pendulum bob on a spring in my Physics book, and had to master the formulae… He was one of the first men to build a Gregorian reflecting telescope and to suggest that Jupiter rotates on its axis(Heck, I don’t see how this is relevant to Ugandans!!). His studies of microscopic fossils are what led him to be one of the first proponents of a theory of evolution(This too is quite irrelevant to Ugandans!!).
Sixth is a fellow you don’t know, because Ugandans are not bothered by things such as these. George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly was born 1895 in Tennessee. That’s a state in the States. He stated, er, started his criminal career as a bootlegger(Don’t ask me now to explain. Watch Lawless to know what bootlegging is all about!). Caught in 1927, he spent a few months(Like many of our politicians here.). In 1930, he married a Kathryn Thorne and together they went on and robbed more banks. He also kidnapped and ransomed a wealthy oil tycoon for the fun of it, for which he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison in 1933. But like any rich(and now famous) criminal, he was out in a jiffy and traveled to Minnesota with his girlfriend, where they participated in a bank hold-up. Continuing his crime spree, Kelly was involved in bank robberies in more states, including Iowa, Texas, and Washington. According to legend, Kelly’s wife helped build his reputation, buying him a machine gun and nicknaming him after the weapon. She also reportedly gave away shell casings from his exploits to people as souvenirs to increase his notoriety. You just gotta love this couple. They both had certain dangling bits!!
Lastly, there’s this one fellow, a jack of all trades as he likes to call himself. He is a master in the pet business. He is a super DJ, and one of the best this city has ever seen. He is a fantastic website designer and nothing beats his graphic design. He has a business mind like no other, and he is rumored to be secretly giving many of this city’s businessmen the tricks they need to stay afloat. He is a founding member and director of Uganda’s one and only Zyee Idyaz Ltd, the mother to enterprises like The One Question Network, Definition413 and Splash SMS, companies which have trended on both the local and international scene. He was born 1987 and this is in honour of him. Happy birthday, Samuel Kamugisha.
Now, people, feel free to come to our offices and do the traditional birthday baptism. We have buckets, those plastic spray thingies in salons, and karais from the hardware store chaps downstairs!!!